Every company has internal meetings. Very few organizations have good company meetings.
When I first meet with the leadership team of a client, one of the first questions I ask them to do is rate the effectiveness of their meetings on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is the best. On average they rate them at a 4.
Why is that? There are several reasons, actually. Here are 15 all-too-common ways to ensure your meetings continue to be the worst part of everyone’s work week.
15 Tricks to Mastering the Art of Bad Meetings
1) Use cell phones
Keep your cell phone ringer on (at full volume) and answer your phone during the meeting.
2) Spend time texting
Text the person sitting across the table from you to complain about the person running the meeting.
3) Make assumptions
Everyone knows the purpose of the meeting, don’t ever tell them—keep ‘em guessing.
4) Scrap the agenda
Don’t use an agenda—you’d never get through it all anyway!
5) Avoid prep work
Conveniently forget to notify the team about any prep work they need to do beforehand. Then humiliate them in front of the team with all the work they should have done in advance. This is a sure way to remind everyone who is boss!
6) Don’t run the meeting
It’ll run itself. The team has a lot of smart people so they’ll get good results on their own.
7) Call for ad hoc Monday meetings
Send out the meeting notice on Sunday night for a Monday morning meeting. This is a good way to make sure everyone is working from home on Sunday.
8) Catch up on everything
Yesterday’s ball game, social life, and politics first—then save the uncomfortable, tough work decisions for the last five minutes of the meeting. And just maybe you’ll run out of time for that uncomfortable stuff.
9) Dominate the meeting
Ask lots of rhetorical questions—just to reaffirm that you’re the one in charge and that the others in the room don’t know nearly as much as you do.
10) Show up 15 minutes late
Run into the meeting late, frantic, and overwhelmed just to remind everyone how much you do for this company on a daily basis.
11) Pause and rewind
Bring the latecomers up to speed with everything you’ve already covered so far in the meeting. No one else will mind.
12) Avoid confrontation
It’s uncomfortable, and it’s much easier to talk about someone than to talk directly to them.
13) Make a huge decision
When one member of the team slips out to the bathroom. (In this case, it’s best to avoid #11.)
14) Go for the quick fix (use duct tape!)
Pick the easiest and fastest item on the list to discuss (not the biggest or most important), so you can at least cross something off the list today—it’ll make you feel good that you accomplished something. When the duct tape breaks, you can give it another quick fix in a couple weeks and feel good all over again that you checked something off your list again.
15) Intentionally disagree (even when you really do agree)
It will show everyone how smart you are.
If you want to ensure your meetings are horrible, make sure to follow the above steps! On the other hand, if you want to overcome gruelling meetings, check out this blog post on 5 keys to ending painful company meetings.
Want to rate your meetings at a 10 for effectiveness? Then start using the Level 10 Meeting agenda template!
- Liked this article? Share it on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook!
- Download chapter 1 of Traction—the book that helps you achieve effective meetings
- Download this eBook on leading world-class meetings
- Watch this quick video on taking your meetings from a 4 to a 10